Let’s be honest, we don’t like issuing change orders any more than you like receiving them, nor do we enjoy having to rework schedules. So help us – help you. Here are a few simple tips to avoid unnecessary change orders and project delays.
Never underestimate the value in adequate planning upfront. Be sure to carefully review the scope and deliverables and consider any anticipated needs that may be missing from the mix. Adding scope after the project has begun results in additional cost and schedule delays.
We use a collaborative approach with clients, so each phase of the project will include a review cycle of the key deliverables to ensure things are coming together according to your vision and the project plan. Take advantage of these review cycles – understand when they occur, what you will be reviewing, and the type of feedback needed. This is critical to avoid unnecessary rework that cause project delays and ultimately additional cost.
Know who your key stakeholders are and make sure they participate in the reviews as scheduled. Again, looping them in too late – especially if their vision is different than yours, can throw projects off track.
Be sure that when providing feedback that it is not only concise, but that it is consolidated from all stakeholders and very clearly communicated with all conflicts resolved. If feedback is received piece mail it will delay the project schedule and these types of delays can greatly impact not only the schedule, but the bottom-line as well.
Review the project plan and make sure you understand your due dates and communicate conflicts at the start of the project. This includes legal reviews, holidays, scheduled vacations for key stakeholders, length of review time needed for your team and any other known influences that may affect the timelines set in the project plan.
There are a lot of reasons that projects can get derailed. Following the steps above will help increase your chances of keeping your projects poised for success.
Pro Tip: Ask your current digital partner to see the project plan at the time you are approving their estimate – the less detailed, the higher risk in receiving a change order on the project. It should be detailed by task per resource for each project phase.